Faux Familiarity

I hate fake leather, fake wood, fake people and now I get to add fake familiarity to the list.

If you know what I like because we’ve known each other for years, that’s great. But if you think you know me because of entries in a database and expect me to be impressed when a waiter I’ve never met before seems to know all about me, well that’s just creepy. I don’t like it for the same reason I hate waiters that act like they want to be my buddy: It’s fake.

The reason people like familiarity in a restaurant is because it’s real. They visit frequently, they know the owner maybe, they know the waiters and the chef. There is an actual relationship. You can’t replace that with a database.

I want the real thing, or nothing.

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3 Responses to Faux Familiarity

  1. bluesun says:

    I’m now imagining the guy with excessive flair in Office Space, except now he knows my name…

    Not going back to THAT restaurant!

  2. lelnet says:

    That is just so very, VERY New York. There are four or five places where my wife and I are known at that level, and in every case it’s because we go there a _lot_. (Might also have something to do with being better-than-average tippers and scrupulously avoiding treating the staff rudely.)

    But these folks are catering to customers who apparently expect to be recognized in restaurants they’ve never been to before. Unless you are or recently used to be President of the United States (in which case the fact that you’re preceded into the building by three van-loads of serious-looking guys wearing dark sunglasses and funny-looking earwig radio transceivers really ought to give the game away), that’s a pretty strong indicator of malignant narcissism.

  3. Lissa says:

    What’s wrong with fake leather? It’s way cheaper than real leather, you clean it with windex, and it’s waterproof. I had a pleather trenchcoat in college that made me feel pretty damn cool when I braved thunderstorms 🙂

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